The Terminator franchise has finally realised that if ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Although the first two movies were absolute smashhits, the subsequent sequels left a lot to be desired after director James Cameron bowed out to focus on other projects.
However, he’s back at the helm for the sixth film in the series – Terminator: Dark Fate – and he’s invited OG cast members Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong for an on-set reunion.
While Hamilton is set to reprise her iconic role as the kick-ass Sarah Connor for the first time in 25 years, and Furlong’s back as her son John, Arnie’s taking on a new identity.
James Cameron opens Terminator: Dark Fate panel by confirming Edward Furlong is back in the new movie! #comiccon— Ian Sandwell (@ian_sandwell) July 18, 2019
Cameron’s been open about the fact that Dark Fate will be a direct sequel to T2, ignoring all of the less-revered contributions to the franchise.
Not one to mince his words, after making the announcement, Cameron told The Hollywood Reporter: “And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream. Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse.”
Which is all well and good, except that Arnie’s friendly T-800 was melted to oblivion in the climatic scene of the film in a bid to help the Connors defeat the terrifying T-1000 – leaving the fate of his character up in the air when it comes to his return.
Yes, there have been theories, one suggesting he might be the human who gave his image to Skynet’s first successful infiltrator unit.
But despite Cameron holding his cards close to his chest when it comes to the character, a few details have been revealed in the run-up to the release that put these rumours to bed.
First up, producer Tim Miller told EW: “I don’t think people will be ready for what Arnold has become either, because it’s very different.”
His statements were added to at this year’s Comic-Con when it was confirmed Arnie will be back (sorry) as the T-800, only not as the model we know him to be.
Exclusive new footage from the film showed that this iteration of the titular robot is named Carl. Granted, it’s not very Terminator-y, but there’s likely a reason for this.
In the first trailer, Carl is hiding out in the woods when Sarah and Mackenzie Davis’ Grace show up to reveal their plans to protect Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) from a new threat, the Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna).
The latest clip reveals Sarah’s first impulse on coming face-to-face with Carl is to shoot him, but instead she vows to kill him once “this is all over”, to which he replies, “I understand.”
What we don’t understand is how the group all end up in the same cabin in the woods. But all will be revealed when the film hits theatres later this year.
So, to conclude, despite the melting pot in T2, Arnie’s T-800 is back (only this time he’s “different”), his name is Carl and he’s being called upon to help deal with a threat from the future. A future that is likely the outcome of the events from the original sequel. Exciting stuff.
Speaking about his return, the man himself, Arnie, said at the Comic-Con panel: “I’m addicted to Terminator. Terminator was the movie that really launched my action movie career… From that moment on, everything has changed in my life.”
It’s great to see the old cast and crew coming together with some newbies to refresh the franchise. As for whether Carl and the gang are able to deal with an entirely new series of threats, we’ll have to wait and find out in October.
Terminator: Dark Fate comes to cinemas on October 23 in the UK and November 1 in the US.
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